The latest house price indices and market policies

27 September 2013

Peter Williams, Executive Director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), comments on the latest house price indices from Nationwide and the Land Registry

“The regional variations in today’s house price indices are further evidence that caution has not been abandoned and Help to Buy 1 has not triggered a scenario of massive price inflation. However, the Land Registry shows annual increases in London are almost 6% higher than the country as a whole, while Nationwide paints a similar picture drawing upon its own more limited mortgage loan data. After five years of stagnation it is encouraging to see a continuing recovery in the market, but with limited impact in many areas so far this is no time to turn off the tap of government support.

“One of the main points of agreement between consumer champions and industry at IMLA’s recent Great Mortgage Debate was that we are far away from either a doomsday scenario or a complete market recovery. Regular reviews of Help to Buy’s impact are a no-brainer and it is encouraging to see the Government and the Bank of England holding their nerves and not resorting to a knee-jerk reaction.

“Instead we should focus on the conditions needed for a sustainable market that supports people’s homeowning ambitions. It is certainly takes less time to put more mortgages on the shelves than it does to build new properties, but we should remain vigilant of the demand gap and it is encouraging to see the scale of long-term house building commitments beginning to shape a public policy debate.”

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